SPARC's Contemporary Residential Design Series - The Past and Future of Regional Design on Puget Sound
In this presentation, UW Professor Jeffrey Karl Ochsner FAIA will talk about the history of regionalism in Seattle architecture and will frame a discussion of what regionalist ideas have come to mean today.
In the middle of the twentieth century, many architects and commentators in Seattle began to argue that local designers were producing work of consistent quality that could be characterized as “regional”–that is, specifically appropriate to Seattle or to Puget Sound or to the Pacific Coast. From that time, a consensus emerged that many of the residential and small scale institutional buildings designed by local architects could be grouped as works of “regional modernism” or “Northwest regional modernism.” Following the 1970s energy crisis and the rise of postmodernism in architecture, regionalism seemed to enter a period of decline, but it never completely disappeared. Some architects continued to do work that might be called “regional,” but as Seattle became a center of information technology and related industries questions arose regarding whether previous ideas of regional design remained appropriate. In the twenty-first century, with a greater emphasis on problems of climate change, building performance and issues of density and affordability, one might ask if regionalism in design remains relevant.
This program includes continuing education credit (2 AIA LU). All sessions and speakers subject to change.